Let’s Play Smear the Queer

found online by Raymond

From The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser:

Christianity quickly faded into the distance as each side cheered their team, calling on them to pummel their opponent into submission. Players were encouraged to hit hard, incapacitating their enemy. So much was on the line: future tales of gridiron glory and a conference championship awaited the team with the most points at the end of the game. As the game wore on, one team got the upper hand and handily beat their rival into the ground. From both sides of the field, the people who just an hour or so ago were singing praises to their God were now screaming and cursing at the officials. One offended fan even went so far as to attack one of the officials because he was fat, leading my son to say, what does the official’s weight have to do with the call he made?

After the game, as I walking to my car, a man and his son passed by me. As they did, the father asked the son what he had been doing during the game (many children “attend” football games, but don’t actually watch the event). The boy replied, we were playing smear the queer.

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Megyn Kelly Goes Ballistic, Calls Out Fox News Over O’Reilly

found online by Raymond

From Frances Langum:

The “silencing of them after the fact” happens because in exchange for a cash settlement those who step forward with reporting their sexual harassment are forced to sign non-disclosure agreements. Trump has been protected by those for years, not only in terms of sexual harassment but also reports he used racist language on the set of The Apprentice. Trump’s campaign made phone bank workers sign NDA’s as well. Who asks phone bank workers to sign NDAs ahead of time? Trump does.

And a word about Irena Briganti. That Megyn Kelly mentioned her by name is huge.

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WH: Unpatriotic to Offer Irrefutable Video Evidence That a General Lied

found online by Raymond

From the Borowitz Report:

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—In a stirring defense of Donald Trump’s chief of staff, General John Kelly, the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said on Friday that it was “unpatriotic in the extreme” to offer irrefutable video proof that a four-star general lied.

“It is unpatriotic enough to accuse a four-star general of lying,” Sanders told the White House press corps. “But to make available a video that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that that general lied is unpatriotic bordering on treasonous.”

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Things Trump-Supporting Christians Can Pray About In Church

found online by Raymond

From North Carolina pastor John Pavlovitz:

If you’re a professed Christian currently still supporting this President and Administration, and you’re on your way to church on Sunday—here are a few things you might talk with God about, as you stand shoulder to shoulder in a room filled with other supposed followers of Jesus, singing, raising your hands skyward, and imagining yourself righteous:

Pray about the 48 confirmed dead in Puerto Rico; for those who still have no water, no food, no medication, and no way to contact loved ones who are still desperately waiting to hear their voices since Maria—and because your President has spent the past two weeks insulting their exhausted mayor, telling these American citizens they’ve all damaged the budget by their tragedy, suggesting that their people are lazy, and threatening to abandon them completely.

Pray about the tens of millions of sick, elderly, and poor who are slowly being suffocated, as your President sabotages the Affordable Care Act; literally taking life-giving, life-saving care from those least able to procure it; sacrificing the health and healing of human beings simply to destroy Barack Obama’s legacy.

Pray about the people of color in this country who recently watched torch-bearing racists march through a city, terrorize clergy, beat people with pipes, and kill a young woman with little more than a slap on the wrist from your President—while he relentlessly crusades on social media against black ESPN reporters and kneeling football players who he called “sons of bitches”.

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Government by Gut Feelings

found online by Raymond

From Robert A. Levine at The Moderate Voice:

American government has entered into a new era. Instead of using experts and scientific data to determine the nation’s policies, President Trump’s instincts and gut feelings are the major factors in the choices that he makes in governing. In addition, Trump’s ego plays a large role, as he never wants to look bad or be seen to have made significant mistakes.

President Trump does not like to read and is particularly opposed to lengthy reports. He is willing, however, to read tweets and to respond to those he does not like and retweet those he does. His intellectual curiosity meter barely registers just above zero with much of his information coming from television programs he agrees with and that praise him unceasingly. He is wont to reject the recommendations of his close advisors as much as listen to what they tell him, usually following their suggestions when they tell him what he wants to hear.

Trump also does not like to listen to experts or academics who have studied the issues with which he has to deal. He tends to ignore scientific articles and scientists, using his ‘common sense’ in determining how to manage problems.

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Bill-O, Falafel Auteur Strikes Again!

found online by Raymond

From tengrain at Mock Paper Scissors:

This settlement happened AFTER Fox News ousted the gelatinous Roger Ailes and Fox News knew about the allegations and settlement when they gave O’Reilly a $25 million annual contract extension. So, you now, it’s now a Watergate-style, journalism school question: who knew what and when did they know it.

But it also means that in the age of Harvey Weinstein, FNC is cool with sexual harassment of The Skirts until it is public. And so now we know.

But here’s the best bit:

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Compassion-gate, Trumpers and Jesus, Wealthy Tax Cuts, Sexual Predation

Saturday Rate of Exchange:
Are Corporate Taxes Immoral?

from Raymond

Libertarian Michael A. LaFerrara believes that corporate taxes are morally wrong. Last week we provided, without comment, a link to his argument.

Friend of the blog Trey began with a minor agreement, but took exception to most of Mr. LaFerrara’s libertarian view:


I have rare agreement with Mr. LaFerrara; If we’re cutting taxes, it only makes sense that spending is also cut. 3 Trillion in tax cuts can’t be offset by freezing Federal discretionary spending, defunding The Arts, and pretending the military isn’t a part of the federal budget.

That being said; This dude’s rationale and opinion on corporates taxes is ridulously moronic… to the point that I HAVE to believe he knows he’s being intentionally obtuse.

The corporate tax is the poster child for double taxation.

A business corporation is not a person. It is an association of individuals who come together voluntarily for a productive mission. It is a legal and cultural framework for cooperation. It makes no more sense to tax a corporation than to tax a labor union or a chess club. The owners of the corporation are taxed at the individual level, to the extent they draw dividend income or earn capital gains or draw wages and salaries from the company. To tax a corporation is to tax the owners twice

Today I learned that a corporation is exactly the same as a chess club. Maybe we should also tax chess clubs if they benefit financially from the public infrastructure, education, utilities and stability of the society they reside in. I understand Mr. LaFerrara also has issues with public ownership of things, but that doesn’t take away from the point that corporations are taxed for the same reason people are taxed; We all benefit from the things our society has put into place for us to succeed and to protect us.

To Mr. LaFerrara society is like the office lunch pool. Everyone puts in five bucks and they all order pizza for lunch every Friday. Except in this scenerio Corporations are the ‘Steve from Accounting’ of the office. Steve never puts in five bucks, but still expects to have pizza for lunch like everyone else. Mr. LaFerrara is ok with Steve not putting his fair share and outright scorns Dianne in Marketing and George in Sales for insisting Steve put in his five bucks. He has no qualms with the office subsidizing Steve’s lunch but, for some reason, hates the idea of Steve pitching in. Like he’s not a part of the office.

Also; In every skree about taxation and the awfulness of collective society, how is Mr. LaFerrara living up to what his father totally, really did, I’m sure of it told him:

“Never worry about the next guy. Only worry about yourself”—Specifically, am I being treated fairly?”

He sure does a lot of worrying for anyone with an LLC at the end of their name.

Frequent contributor Ryan responded.


I don’t think that Mr. LaFerrara would accept your analogy. In reality, we don’t all pay the same amount ($5) for the same benefit (a slice of pizza) and Steve is just the name of a group of people who have already been taxed once (paid into the pool). Furthermore, tax rates are not and cannot be determined through some formula that accurately takes the “consumption” rates of infrastructure and other social benefits into account, so it is accepted that some people will consume more than others (take more than one slice) even if they don’t pay more for it. This is OK because, even after the big consumers are done, everyone else still has infrastructure and is free to do things like start a business (there is always leftover pizza available to those who originally just took one slice).

I don’t know if Mr. LaFerrara supports a flat tax because he believes that it is genuinely fair or because he believes that consumption-based taxation, while optimally fair, is impractical. But now we also know that he rejects “double taxation.” The practical effect of eliminating double taxation and a progressive tax system would be massive spending cuts, massive tax hikes for everyone besides the wealthy, or both. His unsupported “double taxation is immoral” declaration doesn’t convince me that the harm of the above effects is of lesser concern.

And that’s really the issue here. We bicker about what constitutes fair taxation (a flat sum? a flat rate? a progressive rate? how progressive?), but this misses the point. If we have already decided what we want to buy with our money and done so, then the primary goal of the tax debate must be to pay our bills, not to establish fair taxation. Large bills justify progressive taxation and other kinds of taxation (on products, activities, businesses, etc.) as a matter of necessity.

Until conservatives and libertarians can convince the country that we don’t need most of or the most expensive of our various agencies and programs and government employees, then any “fair” tax plans are fiscally irresponsible. They put the cart before the horse, just like current Republican tax proposals sold on the basis of the fantasy that tax cuts necessarily pay for themselves. I am tired of hearing about them.

Have a safe weekend.